Luke Maeding is a video game fanatic. Lego games are his favorite with racing games like Sonic the Hedgehog coming in at a close second. His consoles of choice are the Xbox and Switch.
Lately, Luke has been gaming non-stop, which could make any parent crazy, but he�s playing for a good cause. The 18-year-old is helping to raise funds for sick children through a charity campaign called �Extra Life.� The gist is that players get together and play different types of games for a 24-hour marathon. Participants can live stream as they play and share progress and updates via social media. During the marathon, players ask for donations to support Children�s Miracle Network Hospitals all over the country.
For Luke, 100% of the donations he earns go to Children�s Hospital of Pittsburgh � a place that Luke has come to know very well. The 18-year-old underwent a double lung transplant there in 2010, and now he�s on the transplant list for a small bowel transplant due to his intestines failing. He�s often referred to as the “mayor” of the hospital, since he’s spent so much time there.
Taking part in Extra Life has helped to pass the time as Luke waits for a donor, and it makes him feel good to help kids in a similar situation.
�This is perfect for Luke because he loves gaming so much and he loves giving back, too, especially to Children�s and everyone here because he knows very intimately everything they do here,� Luke�s mother Heather Maeding told KDKA-TV.
Luke recently earned over $700 in donations during a 24-hour marathon. He has raised over $1,000 since he started his campaign.
�I love playing Lego games so much that I had to take a break. I went to sleep, and then started playing again for 24 hours,� Luke said.
While Luke hasn�t gotten a donor yet, they�re hopeful that it will happen soon. In the meantime, you can find Luke with a controller glued to his hand as he continues his quest to give other children the same chance he has to get better.
We�re rooting for you, Luke!
To make a donation to Luke�s Extra Life campaign click here.
You can also support struggling families by contributing to the 66th Annual KDKA Free Care Fund Benefit Show that�s happening all day on December 19th. Click on any of the links below to make a donation and help families get the medical care they need:
(Source: images Love+Lungs=Life for Luke Facebook)